A Global Hub for Entertainment and Media
With media free zones, centers of excellence for creative talent and a broad range of joint-initiatives with US partners, the UAE is fast emerging as a global hub for entertainment and media. Abu Dhabi’s media free zone twofour54 – led by Chairwoman Noura Al-Kaabi – and Dubai’s Media City are home to US companies such as CNN, National Geographic and MTV.
Lucasfilm worked with twofour54 and the Abu Dhabi Film Commission to shoot “Star Wars: The Force Awakens" – the latest installment in the legendary film series – in Abu Dhabi’s Liwa Desert. With other major titles like "Fast & Furious 7," "The Bourne Legacy” and the forthcoming “Star Trek Beyond” also having been filmed in the UAE, the country is becoming a choice destination for Hollywood directors.
The UAE is also an engine for content production. Abu Dhabi’s Image Nation studio maintains strategic partnerships with leading American companies like Participant Media, Warner Bros. and Hyde Park Entertainment. Through these partnerships, Image Nation has helped produce major motion pictures, such as “The Help,” “Contagion” and “The Double.” Meanwhile, UAE-based company Bidaya Media produces “Iftah Ya Simsim,” an Arabic language version of the classic American kids show “Sesame Street.”